YouTube is without doubt the most popular video hosting and streaming website on the Internet, and even though that is the case, Google did not make any money from the service last year.
That's probably the main reason why Google is looking to bring other revenue models to the video hosting site.
The company launched YouTube Red recently, a paid subscription service that is provided for $9.99 per month. Subscribers get an ad-free experience on YouTube and access to original content and formats only available to them.
Google has yet to reveal how successful YouTube Red is, but it was clear right from the beginning that it is just the first step for the company.
According to reports, Google is in talks right now to add an online TV service to YouTube bridging the gap between traditional TV and the Internet.
The idea behind YouTube Unplugged is to bring cable TV to YouTube's audience for a subscription fee. Unlike traditional cable TV subscriptions however, YouTube plans to make channels available in smaller packages that users can select those from that they are interested in.
While not mentioned explicitly, it seems likely that the offer will be limited to the United States. All companies that YouTube is in talks with right now are based in the US, and if the past is anything to go by, the offer will be restricted geographically and not available to a worldwide audience.
It would be a pleasant surprise though if that would not be the case and something that could break down the geographically barrier that has prevented content from being accessible worldwide at the same time for so long.
YouTube aims at 2017 as the launch year of YouTube Unplugged. The company has yet to sign a contract with one of the large cable providers in the US though and that is one of the reasons why certain key information are not known yet.
We don't know yet for instance if YouTube Unplugged will be added to YouTube Red, available as an add-on to YouTube Red, or if it will only be available separately on the site.
Reports suggest that YouTube aims to offer a main package for less than $35 which suggests that YouTube Unplugged will most likely be a standalone offer that users need to subscribe to separately.
YouTube plans to offer less-watched packages on top of that that feature smaller channel groups that users can subscribe to next to the main package.
It remains to be seen how successful such an offer would be. It depends a lot on price and content, but also how this is offered.
Now You: What would make you subscribe to YouTube Unplugged?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.